At last we arrive at a Constitutional provision that everyone can feel good about: the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. Even our liberal friends agree with unfettered free speech (well, except for corporations, abortion protestors, and climate change “deniers”). From UCLA Law School, Professor Eugene Volokh (founder of the invaluable Volokh Conspiracy blog) helps to illustrate the somewhat amorphous scope of free speech, but argues that “symbolic speech” and judicial balancing tests are consistent with original meaning. From the Institute for Justice, merry litigator Paul Sherman talks about the threat posed by government regulations that seek to control who can speak about certain topics. We don’t always agree with each others’ points, but we will defend to the death our right to make them.

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Members have made 4 comments.

  1. Profile photo of raycon and lindacon Member

    Regarding the content neutrality issue of free speech, in what way is an abortion clinic a unique business that requires the restriction of the way people protest that is not applied to other businesses like industrial plants, schools, supermarkets and such like. In what way is it consistent that these restrictions apply only to abortoriums?

    • #1
    • October 30, 2012 at 8:09 am
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  2. Profile photo of Right Wing Inactive

    Best episode so far. The diversity of viewpoints among panelists really made this one interesting.

    • #2
    • October 31, 2012 at 5:55 am
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  3. Profile photo of Adam Freedman Contributor
    Single Wing: Best episode so far. The diversity of viewpoints among panelists really made this one interesting. · 13 hours ago

    Glad you liked it! Eugene and Paul are both terrific!

    • #3
    • October 31, 2012 at 7:19 am
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  4. Profile photo of Adam Freedman Contributor
    raycon: Regarding the content neutrality issue of free speech, in what way is an abortion clinic a unique business that requires the restriction of the way people protest that is not applied to other businesses like industrial plants, schools, supermarkets and such like. In what way is it consistent that these restrictions apply only to abortoriums? · 23 hours ago

    I think you’ve nailed it. Unfortunately, because the courts have bought into the idea that abortion regulations are “content neutral” (wrong in the first place), they give the government a relatively deferential standard of review. If the government says that there are “health concerns” with women being able to access abortion clinics unimpeded, then most courts are letting the restrictions stand. As I argue in my book, I think it is obvious that the abortion clinic restrictions are a pretext for silencing anti-abortion protests.

    • #4
    • October 31, 2012 at 7:22 am
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